London Wants to be World’s Greenest City
By Steve Schueth
I was fortunate to be able to spend a few wonderful days in London last week-on vacation (as opposed to running from business meeting to business meeting). Part of my stay involved seeing the sights from the second level of a red double-decker bus (the kind with no roof).
It had been a few years since I had visited London and I found it to be delightful, friendly, and amazingly clean. Of course, the weather was very good (dry), which makes a huge difference in how one experiences this capital city of 7.5 million Brits.
London is looking forward with grand expectations to the 2012 Olympics. Mayor Boris Johnson has said that he wants to use the Olympics "to drive the greening and the improvement of our city" and noted that London is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2025.
Johnson said that addressing the problems relating to domestic and commercial buildings, which accounts for 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in London, is key. This involves retrofitting in large numbers of public buildings.
Johnson has proclaimed himself a "passionate cyclist" and said he would push ahead with cycle super-highways around London. This will be good for vacationing visitors like me too, since I really enjoy bicycle tours.
London's air quality problem, he said, was caused by vehicle emissions from 8,300 antiquated diesel buses which could be replaced by low-carbon vehicles. There are also 32,000 taxis running on diesel fuel which could be replaced by electric vehicles.
Johnson said there would be a substantial program in the next few years to produce a "cleaner, greener" bus for his city. "The age of the diesel-emitting bus has got to be over in London."
Posted: June 30, 2009